Wodan Sarr stared at the HUD screen for a while longer, careful not to glance over her way. The info was before him and spoke volumes but his focus seemed drawn to her presence. She appeared a Sector Three although the manner of her attire and her speech bespoke Sector Twelve. This contrast seemed to add to the confusion going through his mind, a confusion compounded by the sight of her gorgeous long legs.
“You say…uh…that your husband had been following the standard protocols when he took his trip?”
There was a slight shifting and realignment of those legs.
“Yes. I believe so. Is there some discrepancy in his log details?”
Wodan quickly checked as a new set of data appeared with his eye movement. Start logs were perfectly normal…trip times correlate with system logs, He quickly ran a diagnostic check: system refresh regular and current. Everything was standard protocol.
“No. It all checks out fine. Did he leave any indication when he was due back, uh, Mrs…?”
“It’s Ms. And, no, he didn’t. He always left that open-ended. You know how it is with some men.”
There was another leg movement. This time he couldn’t help himself as he glanced down with open admiration. He’d never seen such perfectly defined legs like that before.
“Indeed.” He lied as he caught himself and turned away abruptly.
The HUD terminated operation just then, and the opaque visor peeled back to expose his bare face. Her dark eyes were staring at him directly, red lips parted as if sighing. Everything about her appeared dream-like to Wodan.
“We have your statement and will hopefully get back to you within the day. Aside from waiting for the usual expiration period, we can do little at our end. Unless, of course, he shows up and manages to notify us directly, we, like you, will have to wait.”
Unconsciously he rose as if to escort her out but she stayed seated, eyes still on him.
“I’m sorry, but I fear something has happened to him.”
Wodan paused. “What makes you say that?”
“Just a hunch,” she finally said after a pause, as if struggling with some private thoughts. “He’s always been in touch during his trips. This is the first time when he hasn’t been in contact. I feel something has happened to him.”
Wodan leaned on his desk.
“Going incommunicado is not really a cause for concern you know. Some locations and situations are known deadspots. From the records of your husband’s trip logs, where he was heading was clearly a no-go for comms. We must therefore wait until the termination period has elapsed before we mobilise. That’s the law, I’m afraid.”
Where he sat, her legs were much closer and proving to be a real distraction. So he marched past and stared out the large window wall of his tidy office. The daily traffic and tall towers were easily forgotten as his eyes searched for something tiny to examine in greater detail, a habit he’d acquire since this posting. It was a handy habit to have when needing something to divert one’s attention.
“Officer Sarr, I would not have come here if I didn’t believe it was serious. Something has happened to Jak. I just know it. It’s a very strong feeling. Can’t you at least check with the travel destination to verify he’s alright? I need to be assured. Please.”
She was right next to him now. Her fragrance was subtle yet tantalising. He dared not turn to her for fear of what might happen. But he did. She was almost as tall as he.
“If it’ll ease your concerns, I will make some discreet enquiries.”
She smiled her thanks along with slim slender hand gently brushing his arm. Then she quickly turned and quietly departed without looking back.
Wodan activated his HUD. The visor came down and he brought up the destination and activated a link. The face of another operative appeared in one corner of his screen.
“Operator Ghunn Lenquist, Sector Fourteen. How may I help?”
“Operations Leader Wodan Sarr here. I’m wanting a quick check on a Mr Darcee Toburn. Schedule for a time run of fifteen units. Code Yellow. Origins, Sector Three. Checked out from here seven days ago. No comms link. Partner wanting to know of his fate. Is he still active?”
“Wait one, please, Leader Sarr. Can I call you back shortly?”
Odd. “Sure, but why the delay?”
The face seemed apologetic. “We’re a bit rushed down here. A couple of our operators have gone down with the bug currently doing the rounds. I’ve got a backlog to sort out as a result. Headquarters are supposed to send down replacement temps but they still haven’t showed up.”
Wodan nodded. “Okay, but I need that info pronto. ETA then?”
The face seemed to ponder the question before responding. “Ten minutes at least.”
“Okay then. Sarr out.”
The face disappeared but Wodan activated a hierarchy of the unit. He read the listing and then activated a live link to one of the names. A familiar face appeared. She smiled back at him when she recognised the caller.
“Wodan, what brings you down this neck of the woods. Slumming are we?”
He smiled openly. “Hello, Tarm. I thought you were nobbing it with the brilliant minds of Research and Policy?”
“In your dreams, sunny boy. I’m a worker, unlike those pratts. How’s Alisha? She still trying to domesticate you?” Her laugh sounded like a braying donkey.
“Yes. She’s almost succeeded. But then every time I see you, I revert.”
“Whoa there, don’t blame me for your weaknesses, you moron. What can I do for you?”
“Nothing really. Making an enquiry on something and saw you were team leader. So…”
“….you thought to stick your nose in where it’s probably not wanted? I know you, boy. What are you really up to? If you don’t tell me, I call Alisha.”
Wodan laughed. He briefly outlined his latest case. But Tarm was nonplussed.
“Come on, old boy. Are you going soft up there in your penthouse office in glorious Sector One? This is low-level rookie stuff. What has this woman got that’s got you so tied to it? Is she a looker? Does she have some dirt on you? That’s it, isn’t it. I always knew you for a sleazebag, you old lech.”
© 2017 L. Tafa